The quality of British food has been a long-time joke, but anyone who has been to London in recent years knows that that assumption is a thing of the past. The city is filled with innovative restaurants and skilled chefs, all with an eye to highlight the ingredients that come from around the U.K. These ingredients are often best showcased on a tasting menu, whether it’s at a Michelin-starred classic or a neighborhood spot far from the tourist trail. Here are the 14 best tasting menus to book in London this year, from omakase, to modern British cuisine, to French-inspired fare.
337 Acton Mews, London E8 4EA
Walking into The Sea, The Sea Hackney feels like something out of a movie—in the best way possible. The sleek chef’s table experience, which seats only 14 people, combines fine dining with a sense of immersive theater. Guests watch the preparation of the dishes, which focuses on British-caught fish, and executive chef Leo Carreira describes each to the room as it’s artfully presented. There’s an optional wine tasting and a refreshing amount of non-alcoholic options as well. For more, visit the original The Sea, The Sea in Chelsea, which has a seafood bar and outdoor terrace.
180 Strand, Temple, London WC2R 1EA
One of London’s most sought-after meals can be found at Ikoyi, a high-end eatery inspired by the cuisine and spices of West Africa. The restaurant, which holds two Michelin stars, is helmed by chef and founder Jeremy Chan, who combines the West African flavors with British produce to create memorable, seasonal dishes. The tasting menu experience comes with a high price tag—£300 per diner—but Ikoyi also serves a shorter lunch menu on Wednesdays and Thursdays. It’s one of the toughest reservations in town, so consider yourself lucky if you score a table.
9 Seymour St, London W1H 7BA
London’s other hot ticket is Kol, one of the only places in the city where you can find authentic Mexican cuisine. It opened in 2018, and has since become a popular spot for special occasions or just a chic night out. The tasting menu is extensive (there’s also a vegetarian version), with modern, British-inspired takes on traditional dishes like tacos, flan and mole. Guests can opt for a wine, mezcal or soft drink pairing. If you miss out on a reservation—tables go quickly two months ahead—the more casual Kol Mezcaleria takes walk-ins for drinks and street food-inspired snacks.
1 Grosvenor Pl, London SW1X 7HJ
Brooklands opened late last year on the rooftop of the new Peninsula London, and has already become a destination eatery. Led by Claude Bosi, the modern restaurant is inspired by the Concorde, with a slick design that feels almost futuristic. The dishes are classic French with a touch of whimsy, and use primarily British ingredients and produce like lamb and celeriac. The menu is available as three, five or seven courses, and compelling vegetarian alternatives are available. Opt for the wine pairing or stop by Brooklands Bar for a cocktail before dinner.
57 Whitehall, London SW1A 2BX
Raffles London at The OWO was one of London’s buzziest new openings of 2023, and with it, the fine dining establishment Mauro Colagreco. The restaurant is the brainchild of Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco, who also helms three-Michelin-starred restaurant Mirazur in France. The menu features inventive, produce-forward dishes that emphasize locally-sourced ingredients (the lettuce, for example, comes from an urban hydroponic farm down the road). The service is thoughtful and attentive, and the cheese trolley, custom-made for the restaurant, is especially impressive. Go for the five-course tasting menu, which best showcases the food. Keep an eye out for special menus this year, as Colagreco frequently invites other chefs to join him in the kitchen.
92 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2PN
Core, which notably appeared on the 2023 season of Top Chef as the setting of “Restaurant Wars,” features sustainable British food created by Clare Smyth. The elegant restaurant is well-deserving of its three Michelin stars: The dishes are beautifully crafted, with a sense of celebration for regional ingredients like scallops, venison and oysters. The tasting experience is available in two versions; a seasonal menu and a Core classics menu, with the option of a wine pairing.
36 Albemarle St, London W1S 4JE
London has its fair share of high-end Japanese restaurants with indulgent omakase menus, but Taku is one of the best. The 16-seat spot, located in Mayfair, offers three sittings per night for its signature omakase. The menu features more than 20 dishes, although diners can splurge on the prestige omakase, with indulgent ingredients like caviar and truffle, as well as additional courses. It’s a very pricey meal, but well worth the treat. Dining spots can be hard to book, but Taku’s team also recently opened Iné, a similar spot in Hampstead with an 18-course omakase.
52 Wilton Way, London E8 1BG
East London restaurant Pidgin, which opened in 2015, showcases a weekly menu of four courses (to date, no dish has ever been repeated). The intimate spot has only 10 tables, so guests can expect attentive, friendly service and thoughtful care in the food itself. Diners may add on additional dishes, a wine pairing or a cheese course, and the kitchen will cater to dietary concerns with advanced notice. The menu is purposefully affordable, allowing diners to experience the food without pretension or breaking the bank. Reservations are helpful, but you can often get in without much planning ahead.
71 Nile St, London N1 7RD
Counter 71, helmed by chef Joe Laker, showcases modern British cuisine. The restaurant, located in Shoreditch, seats 16 guests and serves an innovative 15-course tasting menu that celebrates ingredients from around the the British isles. Adjacent cocktail bar Lowcountry, led by mixologist Ryan Sheehan, uses the restaurant’s surplus produce in its drinks, and serves bite-sized versions of Laker’s dishes. If you’re looking for somewhere new and exciting, this is a great pick.
7-12 Half Moon St, London W1J 7BH
Located in the Flemings Mayfair hotel, Ormer Mayfair offers some of the most immaculate service in all of London. Although the restaurant doesn’t have the hype of its peers, the tasting menu from executive chef Sofian Msetfi is creative and stylish, with options for vegetarians and vegans. Much of the produce comes from the restaurant’s own kitchen garden in Essex, and the wine pairing is especially thoughtful and interesting. Go all-in for the seven course option, as well as the supplementary cheese trolley.
70 Charlotte St., London W1T 4QG
James Knappett and Sandia Chang first debuted Kitchen Table in 2012, and quickly earned two Michelin stars. After shutting down amid the Covid-19-pandemic, the intimate restaurant reopened in 2021, and has since become a highly sought-after booking. The circular table allows guests to feel immersed in the cooking process, with Knappett discussing the menu as it unfolds. The dishes are modern British with a focus on a single ingredient, and Chang showcases a wine pairing to match. There is a vegetarian alternative, as well as a soft drink pairing for those who prefer not to imbibe. Reservations are released three months in advance.
158 Sandringham Rd, London E8 2HS
Off the beaten path in Hackney, discerning food lovers will find Casa Fofò, an intimate spot with a set menu that changes daily. The one-Michelin-star restaurant is the vision of chef Adolfo De Cecco, who draws on Japanese and Italian inspirations. It’s a remarkably affordable tasting menu experience for a Michelin-starred restaurant, with a delightful array of unexpected dishes that are so artfully presented you almost don’t want to eat them. If you’re looking for somewhere to impress your friends, this is it.
9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG
Known for its lively, Instagram-worthy interiors and space age bathroom, visitors to London are often surprised to discover that Sketch also boasts three Michelin stars. Its Lecture Room and Library space serves a tasting menu that is as whimsically colorful as the rooms themselves. The dishes from chef Pierre Gagnaire are unique and lavish, often with smaller accompaniments. It’s more fun than many traditional tasting menu experiences, and ideal for out-of-town visitors who care more about TikTok than a Michelin rating.
101 Wood Ln, London W12 7FR
Sushi master Endo Kazutoshi is behind the counter at Endo at the Rotunda, an 11-seat omakase experience that also boasts memorable city views. The 20 courses are prepared and served in front of the guests, which somehow makes the food even more delicious. There are two seatings per day, and reservations are challenging, to say the least, but scoring a spot at the counter is well worth the effort. Kazutoshi also runs Sumi, a more casual restaurant in Notting Hill with sushi that is *almost* as good.